The c-store retail environment has been seemingly ever-changing over the past few years. A big question many convenience store owners may have is, what does the future of c-store retail really look like?
Marketing My Store: Your Guide to Branded Merchandise
Grocers, convenience stores, and other specialty retailers could benefit from selling branded merchandise in-store. Selling branded merchandise can increase brand awareness, bring in new customers, improve customer loyalty, and boost sales.
The 3 main benefits of branded merchandise are…
It’s Cost Effective
According to NACS, 60.2% of all US convenience stores are single stores. With that in mind, branded merch is an extremely cost-effective marketing tactic – making it perfect for small or independent businesses as well as larger corporate businesses. Most manufacturers offer bulk discount pricing which allows retailers to purchase large quantities for an affordable price to then mark up & sell for ROI. This makes branded merch a great marketing option for all store owners.
Increased Brand Awareness
Because branded merch acts as a walking billboard, it can improve brand awareness. When you build a customer base and those customers purchase your merch and wear or use it around others, more and more people will become exposed to your brand. In an article from Modern Retail, Insider Intelligence senior analyst Blake Droesch said “If someone buys branded merchandise … it will tell people that there’s a group of people who have a really strong allegiance to that particular brand, and it can create value.” Droesch also harped on the importance of using brand awareness to increase customer loyalty by saying “with grocery inflation, brand loyalty is at an all-time low, historically, people are really gung ho about their grocers… but it’s a tough time right now.” Ultimately, the increased brand awareness can improve customer loyalty, increase foot traffic, boost social media following, and allow your business to become more and more familiar to your local community.
Branded merch allows for expanded product selection and a new stream of revenue for your business. This allows you to diversify your inventory beyond food, drinks, lottery tickets, etc. into apparel, cups, hats, etc. The options for branded merch are limitless but be sure to pick items that relate most to your customer base and that are cost effective for the best ROI. When you do pick items that relate best to your customer base, they can become extremely popular and really contribute to boosted sales for your business as well as boost sales by bringing in new customers from the increased brand awareness.
A few helpful tips
To experience the best success with branded merchandise, you need to first establish a solid customer base that will purchase your merchandise. You can also consider doing a giveaway on social media, donating your merchandise to a community cause for giveaway, or giving it away in store as part of a promo (i.e., spend $50 get a free cup) to increase brand awareness prior to your merchandise hitting the sales floor. To gain more insight into branded merchandise for your c-store or grocery store, check out this article from Modern Retail.
Check out how other brands are doing this for fresh inspiration and ideas: